An A-Z Woman's Guide to Vibrant Health

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are lumpy, bulging, blue veins on the legs. Women get them four times as often as men, and roughly half of the people above the age of 50 have some type of varicose vein (hemorrhoids are a type of varicosity in the veins of the anus). Veins have little valves on the inner walls of the vessel to prevent blood from flowing backwards. Valves can become dysfunctional due to damage to the vein walls. When this occurs, it prevents proper one-way circulation and blood pools in the veins. The extra fluid causes the veins to stretch and bulge.

Although they are visually unappealing, generally, varicose veins are not harmful if they are small and appear close to the surface of the skin. However, if varicose veins are located deeper within the leg, ulcerations, deep-vein blood clots, or bleeding under the skin can occur. In serious cases, there can be complications such as inflammation of the veins (phlebitis), clots that can relocate in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) and leg ulcerations requiring immediate medical attention.

When the veins get sluggish the legs can feel tight, heavy or restless, and there can be aches or leg cramps, pain and swelling. The veins may itch and sores may develop.

Veins are fragile and pressure caused by being overweight, smoking, pregnancy and occupational environment (either too much standing, sitting or heavy lifting) cause the veins to dilate, leading to damage of the valves. In fact, ten times the normal pressure is forced on the veins if you are standing for many hours. Other factors include: heart or liver disease, constipation, tumors in the abdomen, vitamin C deficiency, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy and genetic predisposition.


Sclerotherapy and surgery by a specialist to remove large and bulging veins can have excellent results. The following recommendations are effective at eliminating spider veins at the surface but larger veins will most often not be eliminated, only reduced in size with symptoms alleviated.

Multivitamins with minerals; (contains no iron)
As directed. For complete formula recommendations see
Appendix A
Supports immune function; potent antioxidant; supports vein integrity; detoxifies liver; prevents deficiency; repairs blood vessel walls; prevents blood clotting and bruising; improves circulation
3 capsules per day with food
Horse Chestnut Seed Extract 500 mg
Diosmin (micronized) 900 mg
Butcher's Broom Extract 100 mg
Hesperidin 100 mg
Supports vein health and reduces varicose veins; eliminates hemorrhoids; eliminates heavy feeling legs and swelling of legs
Collagen Plus
10 drops in juice daily or two capsules
Silicic acid was found to enhance artery and vein health
Ground flax seed
(high lignans)
1 to 2 tablespoons daily
Soothes intestinal lining and promotes elimination
Grade fish oil
Cala-Q Plus
2 softgels per day containing:
Calamari oil providing 720 mg
of DHA and 280 mg of EPA
Relieves constipation and soothes mucous membranes of the entire intestinal tract.
Softens stool
500-1000 mg after every meal
Anti-inflammatory, shown to prevent hard, lumpy skin around bulging varicose veins
Blueberry, Cranberry Mangosteen, Pomegranate
500 mg per day
Improves the integrity of capillaries, veins and protects collagen from damage in varicose veins. Potent antioxidant effect

  • See Constipation
  • Reduce weight; even 10 extra pounds puts added pressure on your venous system.
  • Eat foods high in fiber.
  • Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of pure, filtered water every day. Water maintains a healthy level of blood volume and prevents constipation.
  • Apply Witch Hazel ointment topically twice a day to reduce swelling and tone veins.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods. Regular exercise is mandatory for circulation disorders and maintaining weight.
  • Stop smoking. Nicotine constricts blood vessels.
Other Recommendations
  • When traveling for long periods of time, make sure that you stand up and move around every once in awhile to keep circulation going and prevent blood clots from forming in the veins. Wear loose fitting clothing and drink plenty of water.
  • Supportive elastic stockings, specifically for varicose veins, in combination with the above recommendations can dramatically reduce the appearance of unsightly veins.
  • Hydrotherapy can alleviate pain and improve circulation. Fill a bathtub full of cold water, get in and walk on the spot for 20 minutes (Use an anti-slip tub mat.) An alternative is to spray cold water on the legs, front and back, for ten seconds every morning in the shower.
  • When sitting or lying down, raise the legs above the heart for 20 minutes every day.
  • Shift your weight and stand on your toes periodically if you must stand for long periods of time. If you sit at a desk, wiggle your toes and flex your leg muscles to keep blood flowing. Do not cross your legs and avoid putting pressure on your legs.
  • Do not scratch veins if they are itchy, or you may cause further damage.
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